- Emmy Raver-Lampman has replaced Kristen Bell as Molly, a mixed-race character in Apple's 'Central Park.'
In the height of the George Floyd protests and talks about lack of diversity in the entertainment industry, Bell decided to step back from the role stating that “casting of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get representation right – to cast a Black or mixed race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we’ve drawn her.”
“After an extensive casting process that brought a number of incredible contenders to the forefront of our Molly search, we could not be more thrilled, honored, and certain that we have found the perfect marriage of character to voice in the amazing Emmy Raver-Lampman, said Central Park’s creative team of Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halsted Sullivan and Sanjay Shah in a joint statement. “From the moment we heard her Molly, we knew she was the right choice. Her comedic chops, endearing spirit and other-worldly singing prowess have us jumping with joy at the possibilities of this already wonderful character moving forward.”
Bell will stay on the show to voice a new character which has yet to be determined.
“Our gratitude for and thanks to Kristen Bell and the fantastic work she did in Season 1 can never be overstated,” the creators said. “And as we look for new ways to utilize Kristen’s brilliant vocal talents moving forward, we are forever grateful for her support, her camaraderie, and most importantly her beautiful performance as Molly Tillerman in Season 1. We consider ourselves lucky to have both of these women as part of our “Central Park Family” with so many more stories ready to be told.”
The show has a two-season order at Apple TV+ and had already begun the process of recording.
Central Park is an animated musical comedy about the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world’s most famous park while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long-suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.
The show is created, written and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers), alongside Grammy Award winner Josh Gad (Frozen) and Emmy Award winner Nora Smith (Bob’s Burgers). Sanjay Shah and Halsted Sullivan also serve as executive producers. The series hails from 20th Century Fox Television.
Raver-Lampman joins a voice cast that includes Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs, and Stanley Tucci.
She was part of the Original Broadway cast of Hamilton and played Angelica Schuyler in the Angelica tour. She also stars as Allison Hargreeves in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy and can be seen in Wednesdays, opposite J.Lee and Seth Green.
She’s repped by WME, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and The Nord Group.